Relentless CHHS defense dominates, pushes Trojans to Elite 8

On Monday, Class 5A’s No. 5 Charles Henderson Trojans (23-5) stretched their winning streak to 14 games, and punched their ticket back to the 5A Elite 8 for the second straight year, with a resounding 67-41 win over the Vigor Wolves (21-11) in the South Regional Semifinals.

While CHHS held a modest 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Trojans stretched that lead to 31-17 at halftime and led 53-32 going into the final period. Charles Henderson led by as many as 30 points – on two separate occasions – in the fourth quarter as the relentless Trojan defense hounded the Wolves all afternoon.

“We played well enough to win,” Charles Henderson coach Tim Fayson flatly said. “We did enough to win and defensively , I felt like we played really well. We held them to 41 points and that was really good. If we can hold teams to below 50, we’ll have a chance (to win).”

The Trojans shot 38.1 percent from the field and held the Wolves to just 26.8 percent shooting, while also winning the rebound battle 56-28 and forcing 16 turnovers. The Trojans dominated the paint, outscoring Vigor 32-18, as well.

Jywon Boyd (0) scored 25 points against Vigor in the regional semifinals. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

Junior Jywon Boyd led the way for CHHS with 25 points and four rebounds, while senior Austin Cross earned 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Senior Tyler Carlton chipped in with 11 points and 13 rebounds to earn a double-double on the afternoon, while senior Jayden Spearman tallied seven points, eight rebounds and four assists.

The win puts Charles Henderson on a collision course in the Elite 8 with Eufaula in a rematch that will see the Trojans face the last team that was able to defeat them. Charles Henderson lost to Eufaula in the finals of the Lake City Classic in December. Since that time, CHHS has ripped off 14 straight wins.

“We’ll be watching a lot of film,” Fayson said with a smile. “It will be a tough matchup, especially with their size. Hopefully, we can use our speed and make some shots early.”

The two sides will clash in the 5A Regional Finals in Montgomery at the Garrett Coliseum at 5:45 p.m. on Feb. 22.